Fruiting bodies

Last month, whilst walking through a grassed area on my estate, I noticed mushrooms. As far as I can remember they had never been there before and, unfortunately, there weren’t any for me to take for identification today.

In September I had been introduced to the Mid Yorkshire Fungus Group and was eager to join them in the hope that they would help me learn to forage for mushrooms. Since both my daughter and I love them, but it is one area I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing without an expert, I was therefore full of hope this morning.

As it turned out the foray at Brearley Marsh, on the northern edge of Leeds, was not quite what I had expected. Yes, there were people with baskets and magnifying glasses. However, they were largely recording what they found for research rather than for culinary purposes.

Notwithstanding my initial feeling of being out of place, I immediately learned a lot about fungus. Not least that it comes in the most amazing range of shapes with a mind-boggling array of attributes. Take for example the fact that some fungi have about 30 genders.

Anyway, I fail to remember all the names and features. Suffice to say, very few of the fungi on offer in the woods today were edible, apart from Jelly Ears and Wood Blewit.

Jelly Ears on a sycamore. Duly picked and will be consumed with relish shortly.

However, one other name I remember is Candlesnuff Fungus. It may not be edible but it looks fun, as with so many of the other fungi we came across.

Spot the Candlesnuff

These puff balls felt spongy and when squeezed their spores came out in a green powder.

These mushrooms are a parasite on birches. Their skins may be useful as plasters but I could be mixing metaphors here.

I ate the wood blewits for my tea this evening and found them to be as pleasant as anything I could buy in a shop. So far, there have been no unseemly side effects, so onwards and upwards.

About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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2 Responses to Fruiting bodies

  1. I am no mycologist, but these fungi hold great fascination.

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